David Zahnizer and Laura J. Nelson of the LA Times provided us with an insightful article on the “road diet” concept at the heart of the new “mobility” plan.

The article can be found here: Silver Lake street serves as test run for L.A. traffic overhaul

A few key observations on the article:

  • FTC decided to check response times for the LAFD station in that area (Station 56).  The percentage of arrivals within five minutes of dispatch has gotten 11% worse – from an already scary 52.8% to an even scarier 46.5%.  It is supposed to be 90%.
  • The photo from the picture, like the other LA Times pictures on MP2035, tells the story: Cars as far as the eye can see stuck in traffic creating smog, one bicyclist (inhaling that smog).
  • “Tangible” safety results from decreased accidents (from 15 to 7) are reported.  What is missing is the loss of life and property from diminished access by first responders.
  • Increased congestion has resulted and has shifted traffic and unsafe driving to neighborhoods.  The article quotes one resident as saying “The added congestion…has prompted impatient drivers to take detours, sometimes driving too fast or rolling through stop signs. “The danger on Rowena got shifted to the surrounding streets, and that is the biggest problem.”  Another said her hillside street experienced significant spillover traffic from drivers trying to find east-west shortcuts.
  • A reminder that the “environmental review of the plan also warned of significant consequences, including an increase in cut-through traffic on residential streets and a doubling in the number of highly congested major street segments.”
  • An admission by the City that they made their decision “in the absence of data” in that “as they have expanded that citywide bike network, they have not looked to determine whether the number of backups on those corridors grew significantly as a result.”
  • The Board of Public Works rejected the idea of decreasing vehicle lanes with one member citing what he saw as serious traffic problems on Rowena saying it had been “a bit of a disaster,” producing major backups south of the Hyperion bridge.  He went on to say “I can’t in good conscience vote for anything that would compound that situation.”